Travel Wright of Newark has been using its Merridale fuel management software for more than a decade. The firm’s original Merridale diesel pump with integrated monitoring is still in service after being relocated in 2005 when the firm moved its operations onto the Brunel Business Park.
Currently Wright Travel operates a mix of 34 service buses and touring coaches. As the business has expanded, the firm needed more room to accommodate parking and service workshops for larger vehicles. Initially the Merridale pump was used in conjunction with an underground tank at the Lincoln Road premises which started life as a retail filling station.
[quote]We know that the pump is dependable and even though our unit is eleven years old we still get excellent support. Should we have a problem, I know that an engineer will visit usually within 24 hours which I think is fantastic.[/quote]
After decommissioning, the Merridale pump was serviced and reinstalled together with a standard self bunded tank.
The new depot installation included a purpose built hard standing which was fully compliant with the latest requirements for the protection of the environment.
“Basically we updated and upgraded our entire depot with one exception – the Merridale fuel management system, which simply moved over to the new location,” says Yard Foremen, Wayne Munslow.
“Having our own fuelling point is an important asset to the business. Our customers will judge us not only on the quality of our vehicles and staff, but also depot facilities which underwrite our reliability.”
“We know that the pump is dependable and even though our unit is eleven years old we still get excellent support. Should we have a problem, I know that an engineer will visit usually within 24 hours which I think is fantastic.”
Travel Wright also provides depot support facilities for a national coach operator. This includes the provision of fuel and the Merridale system is therefore calibrated for mutual approval.
Wayne Munslow continues: “In our current operations we consume around 50 thousand litres of fuel a month, so clearly fuel management is a key administrative function. The Merridale software gives us total visibility of our fuel usage. Every drop of fuel is accounted for. Reports are important for cost accounting.
We are in a competitive business with very tight margins on contracts work. Drivers of the tourist coaches use a company credit card for external fuelling transactions.
“Compared to fuel bunker accounts, the main advantage of credit cards is that they are accepted universally. They are also secure and we can set a limit on liability. By using the online banking facilities we can access details of the transaction directly. I can then use this information to update the Merridale system as an external transaction, and this keeps the vehicle performance figures current.
Mileage can be cross referenced from the onboard GPS tracking facilities which are being installed across the fleet.
As well as helping with journey planning, vehicle tracking tools are also being used to improve customer service as timings and route updates can be broadcast to customers via social networking facilities such as Twitter and Facebook.